The Cleveland Browns improved to 5-3 with a blowout win in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals. Hosting the one-win Cardinals, Cleveland was able to get Deshaun Watson back on the field and while he did show some rust early on, he turned it up a notch in the second half.
This was the Browns first shutout since Dec. 16, 2007 — which was 251 games
Watson had two touchdowns, first hitting Amari Cooper on a pass that was batted into the air. He then found David Njoku in the third quarter on a pass that made it 20-0. Then in the fourth, he threw an absolute dime to Cooper for 49 yards, which set up another touchdown, making it 27-0.
In all he was 19-of-30 for 219 yards with two touchdowns — but most importantly — no turnovers.
Browns defense was dominant
While the offense did enough to get the win, it was the defense that stood out in this win. Cleveland suffocated rookie Clayton Tune, who was making his first NFL start. Tune was sacked six times and threw two interceptions — one to Denzel Ward and one to Sione Takitaki.
The ground game wasn't much better for the road team with Dalvin Tomlinson and Shelby Harris doing everything in their power to keep Keontay Ingram and Rondale Moore from taking over. In fact, the rushing leader for Arizona was Tune, who gained 23 yards when trying to escape the pass rush.
Tomlinson even got involved as a pass rusher, recording three sacks on the day.
In all, they gave up just 58 yards and six first downs in a dominant performance. It was their worst offensive output since 1959.
Amari Cooper went off
Amari Cooper has been good this season despite the subpar play under center. This week, with Deshaun Watson back, he reminded us all how good he is.
Cooper caught all five passed thrown his way for 139 yards and a touchdown. His long was a 59-yard reception that set up a field goal. He then set up a three-yard rushing touchdown when he caught a 49-yarder midway through the fourth.
Turnovers are always good (for the defense that is)
In addition to the seven sacks, Cleveland had two interceptions as well. Denzel Ward pulled down an impressive pick and then Sione Takitaki snatched one away as well.
Now at 5-3, Cleveland will travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in Week 10.